It took four hours to drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar to Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa in the northwest of Bali, a part of the island that not many tourists know much about yet. After the long journey in the car, it was deeply satisfying to see the beauty of the landscape that this resort has to offer.
Sprawling over 382 hectares of land in the forests of West Bali National Park, overlooking the sea, this is the latest resort development of Plataran Hotels & Resorts, whose second-generation leader is Anandita Makes. Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa is part of the Plataran L’Harmonie concept, the most premium level of the Plataran group’s hospitality products, which caters to the top tier of luxury travellers.
Plataran Hotels & Resorts has opened several other resorts across the archipelago, in Canggu, Ubud, Labuan Bajo, Borobudur and Puncak. It is currently building a new hotel in Borobudur and plans to open new resorts in Bromo and Sumba. In addition to resorts, the Plataran group owns and operates private cruises, restaurants and venues across Java, Bali and East Nusa Tenggara.
Luxury in the Wild
“Plataran Menjangan is special because there are not many resorts like this, even in the world,” smiles 25-year-old Dita. “It’s in a national park. You can step out of your villa and see the ocean right in front of it, yet you are actually in the middle of the forest. I think that it is quite a one-of-a-kind sensation to wake up in the middle of the forest, yet at the same time you know you can go snorkel within just a few steps. Here, you can also see animals like menjangan (deer) passing along, making you really feel one with nature.”
The eldest daughter of Plataran CEO Yozua Makes and Plataran Artistic Director Dewi Makes joined the family business at the age of 23 in June 2014. This was after she had spent a year working at Deloitte Indonesia, one of the Big Four in financial services companies.
“I never went to hospitality management school,” says Dita, who graduated with a double degree in economics and applied psychology from Boston College in the US. “Economics and finance are my background. I have learned everything about managing Plataran from scratch, and directly from doing the job.”
As a result of her education, it is natural for Dita to oversee the finance department at Plataran. “But these past few months, I’ve been exposed to other departments such as marketing and operations. Finance is my strength but I do hope to get a grip of all departments because I want to learn as much as possible about everything in this industry.”
Uniquely, her parents also did not come from a hospitality background. Yozua is a lawyer at Makes & Partners while Dewi is a CEO at Puri Sakura Dewi, a serviced apartment catered for the Japanese Market. They both double as professors at Universitas Indonesia. “They founded Plataran simply because they are very passionate about Indonesia. Our family and Plataran’s vision is to contribute to Indonesia and Indonesians,” Dita says.
Cultural Richness at its Best
“At Plataran Komodo, for example, you can’t really avoid the fact that people in Labuan Bajo are not yet as educated as those in Java, so running a business there is much more challenging. But I think by doing that, you are investing on not only the business but also the people. They used to speak no English at all, but now they can take care of the guests who are 85 percent foreigners. I think making a business is so much more than making profits.”
Apart from her work at Plataran, Dita just graduated from her MBA course at Prasetiya Mulya Business School. She also runs her own bakery. Located in Jl. Brawijaya in Kebayoran Baru, Passionnée Bread & Pastry specialises in classic homemade French breads and pastries, and is now one of Jakarta’s go-to neighbourhood bakeries.
“This business actually started when I was still at Deloitte,” she recalls. “I have always loved baking and eating, and then recreating what I just ate at home. My parents gave me a challenge to open my own business, so they gave me a spot to open this bakery and I did everything from scratch on my own – from the marketing and forecasting to developing the recipes and even baking.”
In spite of having so many balls to juggle, Dita still finds time to travel. “I have a unique advantage,” she smiles. “I can say that I travel when I work, and I work when I travel. I travel a lot for leisure and I also travel regularly to our properties with my parents, so I really enjoy what I do.”
But even after exploring many of the world’s most beautiful places, Dita says Indonesia remains her first love as a destination. The archipelago, she says, is a true wonder of the world. “Indonesia is so rich with cultures because we’re made up of many islands and we’re the world’s biggest archipelago,” she says. “I think that what Indonesia can offer to the world, in addition to its beautiful landscape, is its cultural richness.”
Fashion Direction Peter Zewet
Photography Wong Sim
Styling Koko Namara
Hair & Makeup Dave Rio
Shot on location Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa, West Bali National Park, Jalan Raya Seririt – Gilimanuk, Gerokgak, Singaraja, Bali. Phone: 62361 411388. (web.plataran.com)